BAHAWALPUR-There was mixed reaction on the budget presented by the federal budget as the Jamaat-e-Islami criticised the government and a business body praised it.

Jamaat-e-Islami Punjab leader Dr Syed Wasim Akhtar said that the government prepared the federal budget on the direction the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as usual.

The budget is aimed to please the foreign leaders not the public, he said. He said that the energy crisis will persist even in 2018 as no significant funds were allocated for the major dams to eliminate energy crisis.

Raise in defencee budget is less and no suggestive steps were presented in the budget to eliminate corruption, he said. He noted that in the budget of Punjab Government, salaries and pensions should be raised by at least 50 percent. For the elimination of unemployment, implementable action plan should be suggested; Urdu language should be implemented on all levels; all examination of competition should be conducted in Urdu and a proper plan of action should be made to teach English, Arabic and Chinese as languages, he demanded.

However, Bahawalpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Zafer Shareef said that budget for the year 2016 2017 is a balanced one. He said that the govt made special steps for the agriculture sector. The decrease in tariff of electricity for tube wells and decrease in price of urea is appreciable. He also welcomed the zero-rated tax regime in the field of textile, sports, surgical items and leather industry.

Social worker Shazia Khan said that the budget is only the jugglery of words. Government did not do anything for the common man. She said that increase in the prices of milk, mineral water and cosmetics are shameful act of the government.

People show mixed reaction

KASUR-People belonging to different walks of life expressed mixed reaction to the federal budget for 2016-17. During a survey conducted by this correspondent, residents of different areas said that the budget is not poor-friendly. They termed it anti-people budget which has no relief for the poor rather the government has put extra burden on their monthly expenditures.Renowned advocate Muhammad Yaseen Farrukh said the people were expecting some relief in the budget but the government did not give priority to the public which is, he termed, failure of the government. The Anjuman-e-Tajran President said that the government has deprived the poor of staple food by imposing heavy taxes on the edibles. PTI District Coordinator Nadeem Haroon said that the incumbent government is working only on imposing heavy taxes. Criticizing government policies, he insisted that there is a need for expanding the tax-net to bring more revenue to the national exchequer. Chemist Association President Ch Muhammad Ali Sadiq regretted that the government denied people's right to live by imposing heavy taxes on the medicines.On the other hand, PML-N leader Khadim Hussain Kasuri said that the government has provided relief to every citizen of the country by giving a friendly budget which, he termed, a success of the government. Market Committee Vice Chairman Jamil Ahmed Khan said that the government addressed problems of the growers in a better way which would also assist them in their financial matters.